Students to coach adapted volleyball in Berlin

Three National Star students are preparing for a trip of a lifetime to Berlin to work with children with special needs.

Glenda Bird, Ernie Alliband and Alec Davies will run coaching sessions in adapted volleyball at Biesalski School in Berlin in May.

National Star, a specialist college for young people with complex disabilities and learning difficulties, is working with the German school as part of the Erasmus Project.

For the trio the experience will take a great deal of preparation work, not just with their coaching sessions but making the trip and coping with different environments.

Alec, aged 21, finds it challenging to cope with unfamiliar situations. He needs the structure to help him to feel safe and confident.

The National Star team are working with Alec, preparing ‘now and next’ cards with pictures of where he will visit in Germany. The series of picture stories will help Alec understand what it will be like in Berlin.

For Glenda Bird, 22, who uses a power wheelchair, it will be her first ever trip to Europe and her first flight.

‘I’ve never done coaching before so I am a bit nervous but I think the trip will make me more confident,’ said Glenda.

‘Sometimes when I am with a group of people I get a bit shy and speak more quietly. After the coaching I hope I will confident enough to speak louder and be heard!’

‘This will be an incredible learning experience for these three in many ways, not least travelling around a very different city and coping with what that can entail,’ said Julian Ralph, Foundation Programmes and Enrichment Coordinator  at National Star.

‘Not only will they develop their independence skills, this experience will help them grow in confidence and meet peers from another country.’

The Erasmus Programme (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a European Union student exchange programme.

Earlier this year six pupils and two staff from the Biesalski School in Berlin visited National Star and attended coaching sessions in wheelchair football.

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